Svend Johansen

10.9.1890 – 6.10.1970

Working as a theatrical scene painter, Svend Johansen revitalised Danish stage sets, and is remembered today as one of our most important set designers. He made his debut as a scene painter in 1924 after completing his training at the School of Technology and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. With regard to posters, he is best known for his effervescent theatre posters, but was also an important painter of advertising posters.

They clearly reflect the style from his scenography, often featuring Harlequin and other masked figures similar to those from the commedia dell’arte. Svend Johansen’s work, in a characteristic Cubist and Expressionist style, is imaginative, full of life, and explosively colourful.